Local Christkindl Market brings cheer despite rain
December and the tree at Breidert Green brightly aglow, it is that time once again to get into the spirit of the season. While inclement weather might have altered plans for the big holiday celebration, the Christkindl market in Historic Downtown Frankfort Saturday, Dec. 1, was still a merry good time.
The annual Christkindl Weekend took place took place both Dec. 1 and 2, and the event featured a variety of Christmas and holiday themed activities for the entire family to enjoy. Celebrating the village’s German heritage, the much-loved event combines the cherished German and European traditions with Frankfort’s charm.
The event is inspired by the 16th century Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany — one of the first holiday markets of its kind. Since then, the holiday markets have evolved and become a worldwide staple for the holiday season, with one of the most notable being Chicago’s Christkindl market at Daley Plaza.
Despite the rain, most of the indoor activities in Frankfort went on as planned, including letter writing to Santa and a craft station in the Trolley Barn; Santa's Secret Workshop, which featured a gift market for children and gift wrapping by Santa’s elves at the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce office; cookie decorating at Kernel Sweetooth; as well as hot cocoa stations.
Belinda Baso, a board member at KidsWork Children’s Museum, volunteered her time Dec. 1 to help the children of Frankfort write their letters to Santa, and ensuring they made their way to the North Pole. While she had attended the event in past years, this was her first year directly involved with the market. When St. Nicholas made an appearance at the letter writing station, Baso was just as elated as the children who gathered for a chance to talk to the saint and receive a treat.
“This is just so much fun,” Baso said. “It’s a really great way to spend time as a family and celebrate the holidays. I think that Frankfort is unique in that they really strive to keep the charm of downtown and maintained the historic facade. This is small town USA.”
Madeleine Slykas, of Frankfort, and her cousins Elise Slykas, 7, of Frankfort, and Ashley McLaughlin, 13, of New Lenox, were some of the people who chose to brave the cold and rain for an opportunity for some holiday family time. As they drank hot cocoa and decorated cookies at Kernel Sweetooth, the cousins shared smiles and made memories.
“Rather than staying inside all day and watching TV, I figured that this was a better way to spend our afternoon and having fun with the holidays,” Madeleine said. “I live in Frankfort, and I like the events that the Village offers. They’re always a lot of fun and always great for kids.”
For Laura Kluck, an employee of the Frankfort Home Depot who assisted with the craft station and Frankfort resident herself, events like this — whether it be Fall Fest, the Cookie Walk or the Concerts on the Green — make Frankfort a special place to live.
“Seeing the village itself coming together for these events as often as they do, it’s not something you see in many other places anymore — to bring people together as a community, especially the kids. It’s a great thing.”